I’ll be that guy – future directions and so on and so forth

Today during a call with Mr. Ingebretsen discussing a project, we had plotted who would be the dev lead, who would be the design lead and who would be the dev/design/wireframe/glue lead.  I said “I’ll be that guy”, the “glue” guy.

In the past, as a small startup style guy I’ve often played the role of the “every man”. Code, design, project planning, pm, mascot, evangelist, interface, media, graphics, lead, tech writer, trainer, booth babe, conference goer and other miscellaneous jobs.

Its been certainly an interesting, educational and entertaining time.

Since recently leaving Microsoft, I’ve been reevaluating my professional life.  This includes technology, project and work focus as well as usage of social media and my blog.  My last job at Microsoft as a Technical Evangelist had a strong influence on all of these aspects and now that I’ve moved on, I have the opportunity to start fresh.

Here’s my current thinking:

Technology – Part of the fun of becoming “independent” is you get to choose the best tool for the job.  At this point I want to be proficient in all of the major UI technologies in order to use the right tool for the project. I also feel this helps open my mind more when I can step in and out of different ways of thinking.

Projects – I’ve always been more of a “web guy” and that isn’t going away. Silverlight and Flash are great, and with the onset of HTML5 (and the tech surrounding it) I see that continuing to be a place of interest when focusing on projects that need “reach”. Otherwise, I’m enjoying native WPF or iOS applications for projects aiming for the richest experience, including mobile projects.

Work – I most enjoy working right in the middle of development and design. “Design whatever you want, and I’ll make it work.”  ”Get the services and data in place, and I’ll send them to the user.”  Those are phrases I’d like to say on every project with abandon. I am planning to hone my skills more, though, on interface design and visual communication.

Recently after reading Clive Thompson’s on the Power of Visual Thinking, I was reminded of my  interest in “visual thinking” and the ideas spread by the likes of Dan Roam.  I love to draw and the power of an illustration, why am I not spending more time doing this?

Social Media and Blogging – my past behaviors in this area were very tailored by my previous position.  Am I posting or tweeting at the most effective time of the day?  Am I posting a tutorial that enough people will find helpful?

I still enjoy being helpful and learning from others, but I’m hoping to add a bit more personality, creative recklessness and randomness into what I do online.

I like the idea of not caring so much about numbers and “geek-fame”.

I like the idea of sharing ideas and ways of thinking and not just tutorials.

I like the idea of trying to do something different.

So to begin my plan, I opened up and wrote this post, which does not fit into previous recent posts.  I’ve also included a related sketch.  The sketch is not inked, left unfinished and barely touched up in Photoshop. But it is different, fun and its not being posted during the most effective time of the day.

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7 Responses to I’ll be that guy – future directions and so on and so forth

  1. Thom says:

    Want to meet and chat with you some time soon.
    I’d like to talk about expression blend

  2. Jeff Key says:

    “Happiness is a butterfly, which, when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

  3. Lauren Milan says:

    Good for you, I say. Good for you. And… if you want a few gigs that’ll give you the time and space to work, think, create and produce the way you’re hoping to, let’s chat. We could make sense of an occasional flounce through the code with you…… Give me a shout. Let’s see.

  4. Antonio says:

    I wish you the best and I asure you that I will miss to see you on channel9 with some hawaian shirt ;)

    Like your list of ideas and appreciate that you share your thoughts. Looking forward to get some good influence for myself, rethink my path, grasp some new ideas, evolve…

    I must admit that I envy you: Working with Robby Ingebretsen must be really inspiring, what a great start.

  5. Ravi says:

    HI,
    I have a simple question,
    How will be the career for Silverlight Designers, i have good experience in Expression blend, Wire-frames, and dev. Will it be Demanding career ???

    Thanks

  6. Adam Kinney says:

    Thanks for the comments everyone :)

    @Thom – sure, I’m a big fan of Blend.

    @Jeff – nice words for reflection, I am quietly sitting right now.

    @Lauren – sounds good, I’ll send you a note.

    @Antonio – Thanks, I believe I’ll be on CH9 again soon. I’ll be sure to wear a Hawaiian shirt ;)

    @Ravi – Demanding and in-demand yes. There are not enough Silverlight designers available today.

    @me – change comment template to support multiple threads…

  7. Ravi says:

    Hi Adam Kinney,

    Thanks for your reply.

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